Sword in the Storm
Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth. Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire.
The Seidh–a magical race as old as time–take note of the young warrior and cast a malignant shadow across his life. For soon a merciless army will cross the water, destroying forever the timeless rhythms of life among the Rigante.
Swearing to protect his people, Connavar embarks on a quest that will take him into the heart of the enemy. Along the way, he receives a gift: a sword as powerful and deadly as the Seidh who forged it. Thus he receives a name that will strike fear into the hearts of friend and foe alike–a name proclaiming a glorious and bitter destiny . . .
Sword in the Storm is the first of the Rigante Series and I can say that it doesn’t disappoint. David Gemmell is a past master of fantasy and he does this all the while ignoring the basic tenants of the fantasy that he writes. He doesn’t use a lot of magic which is a shock in the heroic fantasy style and this really shows that it has more of a feel of a historic style of fantasy.
This book I was offered a chance to read due to a blog tour and I hadn’t read a lot by this author and it had been close to 15 years since I had picked up one of his books. He impressed me but at that time I was more out of fantasy and didn’t want to push things. Now I regret not following up on my read of his and picking up every book that I could.
This book had a great pace to it with a tiny bit of slowness only during the middle. The book made me feel like I was living in the country where the story takes place and could see myself being part of this community and friends with some of the characters.
Conn when you first started reading this was a scared and confused boy who was desperately trying to show that he was unlike what he believed his father was; a coward. This puts a lot of pressure on the boy and he makes a few mistakes when he tries to show just how brave he is.
It almost has a feel of a Klingon style nature where honour seems to mean so much to the people. It made me feel very good reading that while they are honourable and they are good for the most part they also have the dark side as well.
It shows a maturity with the writing that you can feel for the main character Conn and what he has or will become. I really think this is what made the book so great. The character really does show a lot of integrity except in the one instance where he seemed to be seeking revenge instead of following what his honour would demand.
The first book somewhat ended on a cliffhanger which is not a good thing for me as I really want to know what is going to happen next. It is hard to really read a book that you know will be a great series only to find out that the first book ended in a way that just wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been.
All in All this book really had me wanting more and I was so happy that I got the chance to read it. The book just had that something extra that a good book needs and I think that the author really has a knack for writing stories where you don’t require magic and it is more about development of story and character. There is none of the bad tropes about the magic whatchamacallit will save the day in Gemmell books.
Bane the Bastard is the illegitimate son of the Rigante king who men called Demonblade. Born of treachery, Bane grew up an outcast in his own land, feared by his fellow highlanders, and denied by the father whose unmistakable mark he bore–the eyes of Connavar, one tawny brown, the other emerald green.
Hounded from the country of his birth, Bane found acceptance across the seas–only to have it stripped away in an instant by a cruel and deadly swordsman. Now fighting as a gladiator in the blood-soaked arenas of the Empire, Bane lives for one thing: revenge. And he pursues his goal with the same single-minded determination that won his father a crown.
But more is at stake than a young warrior’s quest for vengeance. The armies of the Stone are preparing to march on the lands of the Rigante. The fate of human and Seidh alike will be decided by the clash of swords–and by the bonds of twisted love and bitterness between a father and a son . . .
This book was interesting but not what I really was expecting. I like tbr characters however I think to a point they were weaker than some of his other works.
I found that the story though made up for any deficiencies I think are with the characters.
The premise was great and the execution was very good. The powerful nature of this authors work is so powerful and you do feel that you are living each of these stories.